ERIC Number: ED241879
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Nov
Reference Count: 0
Social Integration and Mental Health of the Aged.
Deimling, Gary T.; Harel Zev
Social support has been found to be positively related to well being in elderly individuals. To examine the effects of social integration (social resources, social interaction, and perceived adequacy of resources), and health, age, marital status, and socioeconomic status (SES) on mental health among urban elderly individuals, 1,727 persons from Cleveland, Ohio, aged 62 or older, were interviewed using the Older American Resources and Services Questionnaire. Subjects' psychological well-being was assessed using selected items from the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory. An analysis of the results showed that physical health strongly correlated with psychological well being. Two measures of social integration, social resources and perceived adequacy of resources, were also correlated with well being. Although social resources and social interaction were strongly correlated with each other, they were not at all related to the elderly individuals' perceptions of the adequacy of the resources or interaction. SES had a moderate effect on well being, largely through the better health experienced by higher status individuals. The findings suggest that although assisting the elderly to identify and use available social resources is important, simply increasing their level of interaction may have minimal effect on mental health. (BL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Scientific Meeting of the Gerontological Society (36th, San Francisco, CA, November 17-22, 1983).